Following national trend, bills restricting abortion introduced in Michigan Senate | Michigan Radio
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Following national trend, bills restricting abortion introduced in Michigan Senate

Jun 5, 2019

Credit Alexander Raths / Adobe Stock

Some Republicans in the state Senate have introduced bills (SB 357 & SB 358) that would drastically limit when a woman can get an abortion.

The bills would make it a felony for a physician to administer an abortion after a heartbeat has been detected. That’s usually at around six to eight weeks of gestation. There is an exception if there is an emergency that puts the life of the mother is at risk.

Currently, a woman can get an abortion up to around 24 weeks of gestation.

Senator Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) is a bill sponsor. He says he’s been thinking about tying heartbeats to abortion for a long time.

“But then seeing a lot of other states pursuing it and doing it, it seemed like the time was right to push forward with that," McBroom said. "And continue to try to highlight the sanctity of every human life.”

A similar bill has been introduced in the state House. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said that she would veto bills that add restrictions to abortion access. However, the anti-abortion group Right to Life has started a ballot initiative that could make the measure law without Whitmer’s signature.

So-called "fetal heartbeat" bills have passed in multiple states in recent months, including Ohio, Missouri and Georgia. Supporters of those bills have stated the ultimate goal of such laws are to eventually challenge Roe v. Wade.